Matthias Rath and Totilas led Germany to a convincing win in the dressage Nations Cup grand prix in Aachen earlier today (17 July).
There was disappointment for British spectators, however, when Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro made several costly mistakes that left Great Britain trailing more than 24 penalties behind Germany in fourth.
Valegro made a promising start and looked set to take the lead until his marks — consistently nines — slipped to threes and fours for the two-time changes and pirouettes. This earned a final mark of 76.9%, which was only good enough for individual sixth.
Totilas, meanwhile, looked a class act from the outset to earn 82.3%. Matthias confessed that the stallion’s piaffe and passage “was not the best he can do”, but added that Totilas had given him “a great feeling”.
Teammate Helen Langehanenberg finished second individually on 81.22% riding Damon Hill NRW, who shocked onlookers when he leapt into the air before the final halt.
“It was a shame because the rest of the test went well, but we both had a lot of fun,” said Helen.
The Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen slotted into third with Jerich Parzival NOP. This helped the Dutch quartet claim second in the team standings while Spain finished third.
Britain’s Michael Eilberg and Half Moon Delphi netted 10th place on a score of 74.02%, after following Totilas into the arena. Daniel Watson’s Fideramber and Nikki Crisp’s Pasoa struggled to earn the marks in the atmospheric stadium and finished outside the top 30.
Don’t miss our full report from Aachen in Horse & Hound magazine (24 July, 2014)